Following today’s announcement (12 October) from Sajid Javid, UK Home Secretary, that physicians can now prescribe cannabis oil to patients from 1st November,
Rahael Maladwala, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, offers his view on this landmark ruling:
“This new rule shows that the global surge in the use of medicinal cannabis is demonstrating positive results and the pharmaceutical industry is likely to see similar products come to market in the near future.
“The cannabidiol molecule has been shown to have medicinal properties across various central nervous system indications, including pain, multiple sclerosis, and, epilepsy. The UK government’s decision to legalize cannabis oil for medical use is the first step into moving this molecule into mainstream healthcare.
“Previously, cannabidiol molecules had been placed in Schedule I, under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, meaning that little research could be carried out but earlier this year it was moved to Schedule II, which opened up the possibility of structured trials to test safety and efficacy.
“While the UK have not gone as far as other countries like Canada and the Netherlands and legalised the recreational use of cannabis, this policy change will be welcome news to patients suffering from serious illnesses where cannabis could be a potential treatment. A prime example of this are epilepsy patients Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, who struggled to get access to cannabis oil despite it alleviating their symptoms. This new rule makes it far easier for doctors to prescribe the drug to these patients.
“This is likely to be seen as a test run for this controversial drug; over the next year the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) will conduct a long term review on the uses of cannabis and the results of that may determine the number of cannabis products that enter the market over the coming years.”
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